If you were traumatized as a child, you needed to protect yourself from your feelings of terror, rage, shame and abandonment. This means you probably shut down other feelings too. Or, you may feel only one or two feelings. For example, rage only, or terror only, or shame and guilt, and not know there are many subtle shades in between.
You may not even be able to name your feelings. Here are the basics:
Once you start slowly taking down your protective walls, it gets safer and safer to activate the full range of feelings. But, like everything worth doing, this takes time.
When you first begin to feel, the intensity of long-suppressed feelings may make you feel like you're going crazy. You're not.
The deeper the grieving, the deeper the healing. Odd as it may sound, those of us who fall apart often heal faster. Your level of functioning is not a measure of how well you're doing but part of the process.
Don't judge yourself if you have to drop out for a while. Working, playing, relating may just be too much right now. Do onlywhat you absolutely must do.
Sometimes, things get worse before they can get better. You're strong or you wouldn't have survived to this point. You wouldn't be remembering, telling your story and defrosting if your psyche wasn't ready. This is a painful time but it's not a bad time.
You may find during this part of the healing process that you feel like a child. It's okay. If you're coming out of years of post-traumatic stress that began in childhood, you're making up for lost time. Growing up all over again--appropriately this time--means learning to be your own good parent, meeting your unmet childhood needs for appropriate touch, security, safety, trust, support, unconditional love and acceptance.
This time around you're free to be who you really are. Try to find supportive people to validate your feelings, especially those feelings you find particularly difficult.
REMINDER: You're not crazy, you're healing.